**Compressive strength** is the capacity of a material or structure to withstand axially directed pushing forces. It provides data (or a plot) of force vs deformation for the conditions of the test method. When the limit of compressive strength is reached, brittle materials are crushed. Concrete can be made to have high compressive strength, e.g. many concrete structures have compressive strengths in excess of 50 MPa, whereas a material such as soft sandstone may have a compressive strength as low as 5 or 10 MPa. By contrast, a small plastic container might have a compressive strength of less than 250 N.

Compressive strength is often measured on a universal testing machine; these range from very small table top systems to ones with over 53 MN capacity. Measurements of compressive strength are affected by the specific test method and conditions of measurement. Compressive strengths are usually reported in relationship to a specific technical standard.

Read more about Compressive Strength: Introduction, Compressive Strength, Deviation of Engineering Stress From True Stress, Comparison of Compressive and Tensile Strengths

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“Weakness is a better teacher than *strength*. Weakness must learn to understand the obstacles that *strength* brushes aside.”

—Mason Cooley (b. 1927)